We have hit some warm weather for the area and Rainy Lake temperatures are warming. With that, the walleye bite got a bit better. Jigging with a light white jig tipped with a minnow has been working in 20 feet of water or so. Anglers have been hitting the likely spots in Sand Bay and in the area from Dryweed Island to Brule Narrows. There have also been good reports from Cranberry and Lost Bay. Crappie are hitting at the mouth of the Rat Root River in Black Bay and smallmouth bass are going after topwater lures along the rocky southern Rainy Lake shorelines.
In Rainy River, water clarity is improving as is the fishing. The best bit has been in the current below the Ranier Rapids and below the dam at International Falls. There are also smallies hitting from the weedy corners of the wide bends in the river
The weather looks perfect for the Memorial Day long weekend. Expect to see walleye anglers taking advantage of a pretty good bite. The best results have been using gold jigs tipped with minnows in 20 to 25 feet of water over the submerged reefs. Also, slow trolling with a gold or white spinner rig near the rocky shorelines in about the same depth. Smallmouth bass are also lurking along those rocky shorelines and casting a lure is working best. Some anglers are targeting crappie and when they find them do very well.
On Rainy River, the walleye and smallmouth bass fishing has been good from below the dam at International Falls and then downstream for a mile or two, access this area from the Ron Hall launch in International Falls. Walleye are also biting near the mouth of the Little Fork River just west of the Kuttes Landing access at Pelland. Above the dam and below Ranier Rapids has also been good for walleye, use the Pat Roche access in International Falls to be below the rapids, or use the launch at Ranier to be above the rapids
The walleye opener on Rainy Lake answered the question of where the walleye might be. Anglers are jigging in 20 to 25 feet of water for the best success. Speculation had been over whether they would be found near rocky shorelines and islands or over the submerged reefs in the lake and the answer is both. Additionally, anglers say they have run into pockets of crappie while fishing for walleye. Those trying for smallmouth bass and northern pike have been casting crankbaits along various south shore area and are doing okay.
In Rainy River, big sturgeon have been the center of attention with the close of the tag season set for Friday, May 15th. After that, sturgeon will be closed all together to allow for spawning. Walleye in the river have responded to jigs and minnows dropped in along the edges of the current in about 15 feet of water